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Lavant Horticultural Society, Chichester

Lavant Horticultuiral Society
Lilac coloured flowers of Verbena bonariensis

A short selection of things to do in the garden at this time, also published each month in the Lavant News

August (to look back to July, click on the Echinops to the right).

Regular watering in dry periods is essential – otherwise, there can be knock-on effects, such as blossom end rot in tomatoes, splitting of root crops and flower abortion in runner beans.

Pay particular attention to container plants – even if it rains, the foliage often deflects the raindrops away from

the pot. Also, a weekly high potash (tomato or flower & fruit) feed will encourage them to keep flowering into autumn. Border perennials will also benefit from this treatment.

Flower bud formation for next season on rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias can be inhibited if they dry out. So keep them moist with collected rainwater, as our tap water is too alkaline. However, if you run out of rainwater, tap water for a short time is much better than letting them dry out.

Trim back lavender plants when the flowers have faded, to keep them compact and stop them sprawling. Make sure you do not cut back into old wood, as this is unlikely to produce new growth.

If you did not already do it last month, now is the time to summer prune Wisteria - cut back the whippy shoots of this year’s growth to 5 or 6 leaves.

You can now plant hyacinths, ‘Paperwhite’ daffodils and freesias in bowls to flower for Christmas.

Once stone fruits, such as plums, cherries, peaches and apricots, have been picked is the right time to prune – they need to be in active growth to ward off diseases such as silver leaf and bacterial canker. However, only prune if needed to restrict size, to remove damaged or crossing branches or to shorten long thin ones prone to snapping under the weight of fruit. Otherwise leave well alone.

Cut out fruited canes of summer fruiting raspberries & start to tie in the new ones to fruit next year.

Black spot is very common on roses now, but it is already too late for fungicide sprays to be effective. Collecting up fallen leaves and burning them will help stop the disease spreading.

Click above to look back to

July

Click below for

more comprehensive

advice for this month

from the RHS

Wildlife in the garden

The wildlife-friendly garden

Find out more from Sussex Wildlife Trust

Dead wood is good

Click above for more from the RSPB

Click above for full details

Just a few minutes of your time.

The more people who report their butterfly sightings now, the better view of how the various butterfly species are faring.

Click above for RHS

information on plants good

for bees & pollinators.